Alabama AG: City of Huntsville should allow guns at library

The Huntsville Madison County Library in Huntsville, AL (Photo: City Data)

The Huntsville-Madison County Library in Huntsville. (Photo: City Data)

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange instructed the City of Huntsville to allow guns at the Huntsville-Madison County Library, giving officials 60 days to remove a sign currently prohibiting firearms on the premises.

Strange told the city in a Jan. 11 letter that they if the sign is not removed within the 60-day time frame, the attorney’s office would pursue legal action, according to an AL.com report.

At the center of the conflict are differing interpretations of Alabama’s Firearms and Weapons Law, which allows for prohibition of guns in buildings protected by guards.

Strange argued in his letter that after conducting an investigation into the matter, his office concluded security officers were not consistently posted at the library’s entrance and security cameras were not monitored on a regular basis.

City Attorney Trey Riley disagreed with Strange’s interpretation of the law, arguing that security officers were always at the library but not in one specific area.

“What I’m saying, and I went into some detail in my response (in previous correspondence with Strange), is that there were guards at the facility,” Riley told AL.com. “I contend that they are posted. I don’t think that for a guard to be posted, he has to be nailed to the floor in one area. That’s a little bit, I guess, restrictive in my view. If that guard is on duty and is patrolling that facility, I think he’s posted.”

Riley said that if he is not able to reach an agreement with the attorney general’s office, he is prepared to argue his case in court.

“We do feel strongly,” Riley said, “that folks ought to be able to go to the library and not be concerned about firearms being wielded about the facility other than by authorized personnel.”